Assume that we have a LP with the constraint $$ \sum_{j} \left(c_j x_j + |c_j x_j - \alpha_j + \beta_j|\right) \leq y $$ and

$$\alpha_j + \beta_j \leq \lambda_j $$ for all $j$, where the (positive) cost vector $c$ is known, $x_j, \alpha_j$, and $\beta_j \geq 0$ are variables. How do i linearize the absolute values, the usual trick with $|f(x)| \leq y$ would not work because we have multiple absolute values and multiple variables inside the absolute values.


1 Answer 1


Yes, the usual technique applies. Introduce a variable $z_j$ (together with linear constraints) to represent the absolute value, and replace the original constraint with $\sum_j (c_j x_j + z_j) \le y$.

  • $\begingroup$ The constraint $\alpha_j + \beta_j \leq \lambda_j$ below remains the same right ? $\endgroup$
    – endeavor
    Dec 15, 2022 at 16:38
  • $\begingroup$ Yes, that is correct. $\endgroup$
    – RobPratt
    Dec 15, 2022 at 16:58

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